Video-sharing websites resolve to showcase better viewing

Video-sharing websites resolve to showcase better viewing

By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
Dec. 19, 2007

Veoh has no time or file-size limits, but videos are displayed on a Web page with lots of ads.
Veoh has no time or file-size limits, but videos are displayed on a Web page with lots of ads.


LOS ANGELES — Sharing your personal videos online is great, but how many times have you wished your production looked better?

Videos on YouTube, the world’s No. 1
video-sharing site, often are fuzzy. The same goes for other popular
sites, including Yahoo Video, AOL Video or MySpaceTV.

The culprit is a kind of Catch-22 for online
video: To make sure the videos start playing immediately, image
resolution is greatly lowered — which results in poor quality.


However, a number of video sites now offer higher-resolution video
sharing with slightly longer load times. The difference, while not
striking, is certainly better and worth checking out. I tested videos
on image-sharing services Veoh, Blip.TV, Vimeo and SmugMug, where the
videos all look brighter and clearer than on YouTube. How they stack up:

Veoh: Looks great, but lots of ads

With investors including Time Warner, former
Disney chief Michael Eisner and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, Veoh
positions itself as a next-generation TV alternative. It offers
independent video productions, user-generated content and complete
shows from such providers as CBS.

While the content is impressive, the quality of
Veoh’s display and its rules for video sharing are what caught my eye.
Unlike YouTube, Yahoo, AOL and others, there are no time or file-size
restrictions on your videos.

On Veoh, I uploaded a monster-size 1 gigabyte,
six-minute video with ease. More important, it showed off the clip with
more clarity, color and sharpness than Vimeo, YouTube, Blip.TV or

And that was before I found out about Veoh Pro,
an added feature for Veoh members. The service, available free, will
transcode the video in a newer version of Adobe’s Flash software, which
is the dominant vehicle for presenting video on the Web.

That’s the good news. The bad: Your video
masterpiece is displayed on a Web page littered with ads. To avoid the
ads, use the service’s downloadable VeohTV application. It lets you
watch videos in full screen, with no ads. If your original is a large,
higher-resolution file, it should look terrific on Veoh TV.

Bottom line: Veoh offers great online quality, liberal upload rules, but noisy display.

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